June Garden News
July 5, 2010, 9:24 pm
Filed under: Garden
OK, so I think I just about covered May in my last post.  Sorry about all the crazy post-post editing and the pictures showing up all wrong…  Bear with me as I try to figure out the best, easiest way to post so that it doesn’t take me all day each time (I’d much rather be gardening).

I started off the month with mulching, first with straw (what I had) and then with cocoa shells (on sale at an Ace in north Madison).  I’m not sure how much I needed to, since we had so much rain during the whole month of June, but well, there it is.  On June 3rd, I seeded brussels sprouts to transplant in mid-July and seeded some more greens in the salad spiral.  I went over to Elef. on June 4th and took some pictures because things were looking so good.

Potatoes, oats, peas, etc.

Beets, Cabbage, Squash, Tomatoes, etc.

You can see that I put row cover over the brassicas (to protect against cabbage moths– would have worked better if I had wider pieces to really come down to the ground on either side) and the cucurbits (to protect against vine borers– now I need to go back and wrap the stems with aluminum foil for the same reason, since I can’t keep them covered while there are flowers being pollinated).  The tomatillos and tomatoes are staked and the oats are getting tall but not heading out yet.

Garlic, Winter squash under cover, etc.

The garlic leaves have yellow tips already but are forming nicely.  I had already cut scapes (earlier that day, actually).  The cabbage is straining underneath its blanket but the buckwheat is still short.

I took another picture of the tomato row after I mulched the first time:

Beebalm, Buckwheat & Tomatoes

I weeded a little on June 6th, but it really wasn’t possible to do much with so much rain coming down all the time.

On June 10th, I harvested the first shell peas (at least that I wrote down– I think there was at least one harvest before that).  There were also lots of nice radishes and the first Genovese basil.  On June 13th, Matt came over to Elef. with me to harvest another load of peas and take pictures.  In the nine days since the last pictures, the potatoes had really shot up:

Potatoes 9 Days Later

The oat experiment was progressing apace, with the beans doing just fine but the corn looking slightly hesitant:

Oats, beans & corn

The peas were still flowering beautifully, promising the bumper crop that we continued to reap:

Pea vine

The tomatillos and tomatoes were growing despite the lack of sunlight.  Here you can see that cocoa bean mulch I replaced the straw with (I put the straw on the garlic instead because it was getting really weedy):

Tomatillo & Tomatoes

The winter squash were flourishing under their straw mulch and row cover:

Winter Squash

The nasturtiums looked beautiful in the rain.  They left me a little birthday present:

Jewelled Nasturtiums

I had panicked a little about the slow growth of the ground cherries I’d pre-germinated and started at home, so I brought home a couple from Blue Moon Community Farm after a day of volunteering there, but then of course mine took of, so now we’ll have plenty of ground cherries:

Ground Cherries

I have to say that the red-brown cocoa bean mulch sets of the young fresh green of things like onions and carrots very nicely…

Onions & Carrots

And the buckwheat was really starting to take off, a little to the chagrin of the now-submerged pepper plants (can you see them?  I can’t see them, although this is the back of the row, where there’s a pepper-free space):

Happy Buckwheat

The Costata Romanesca zucchini were already flowering:

Costata Romanesca

Etc.  (There are more pictures, believe it or not, but you can see them on Flickr).

On June 14th, I seeded some more haricot vert, this time Fin de Bagnol, an heirloom variety from Seed Savers.  Embarrassingly, though, I can’t remember where I seeded them!  It was a rainy day and I was tired, what can I say?

On June 2oth, a flower-planting day, I seeded a few Platinum Blue Flowers (Echinops ritro, I think) at home, realizing as I did so that there were some volunteers of the exact same thing migrating over from the neighbor’s yard right next to where I was seeding.

On June 21st, I transplanted more broccoli and cauliflower at Elef. and seeded greens and more cucumbers at home (struggling to fill the spaces in the bed where the other cukes just weren’t thriving).

And then… the big news!  On Wednesday evening, June 23rd, Laura and Matt and I drove to Waunakee to our friend John’s Equinox Community Farm to pick up four 12 week-old pullets!  Matt and his dad had spent the last several weeks building quite the most perfect little coop I’ve ever seen:



We took these the next morning.  We’d picked them up after dark while they were a little calmer and just placed the whole cage we brought them home in inside the coop for the first night, since they didn’t seem to want to come out quite yet.  When we got up the next morning, we coaxed them out, opened up the coop door and waited for them to gather courage:

First Emergence

As you can see, the Araucana, whom we’ve since named Mae West for her bossy ways and buxom stature, was first, but the rest followed quickly on her heels to check out the new digs (literally– we’d placed their first run strategically over part of an ant hill to give them an opportunity to root them out):

All 4 Out

We named the Rhode Island Red Rosie, after a good friend:


We named the Australorp Karma, since Karma named a sow after me after we left:


And in the middle of this next one is the Dark Cornish that Laura named Cordelia:

Karma, Cordelia & Mae

We’re all pretty well smitten with them, bringing them treats constantly and losing lots of productive hours to sitting (with deck chairs arranged in a semi-circle) and watching their antics.

Well!  Tearing ourselves away for a moment, the potato box Matt built was thriving and growing.  I’ve added new layers of compost several times now and need to add more, but on June 25th it was looking pretty well-balanced:

Ozette Potato Box

Speaking of potatoes, I finally got a close-up of one of those All-Blue Potato flowers at Elef.!

All-Blue Potato Flower

I’d fertilized the corn with fish and seaweed emulsion the week before (and need to do so again now), so the oat-beans-corn experiment was looking better:


I finally took the straining row cover off the cabbage, hoping the interplanted thyme will help against the cabbage moths:

Cabbage & Thyme

Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage

Aren’t they gorgeous?!  The little bee balm plant I put in last year and that came back this Spring suddenly morphed into a gigantic mop of pink:

Pink Beebalm Blossom

Everything was blossoming, including the tomatillo (another monster):

Tomatillo Blossom

The newly-wrapped tomatoes were setting off the flowering buckwheat elegantly:

Spiral-Staked Tomatoes

Remember those D’atil plants I bought?  Well, they’re not thriving as I think they ought (probably all that rain, but maybe I do need some rabbit poop):

D'atil Pepper Plant

Here’s a new one for my garden (planted last fall), Egyptian Walking Onions:

Egyptian Walking Onions

Strangely, it reminds me a little of Klimt’s “Kiss”…

Ellie-Ganesha, sunburnt and peeling ‘tho he might be, is in a prime location to enjoy all the color:


All cycles of life, abundant as they may be, come to an end, however, and the peas are dying back:

Pea Vines Dying Back

On June 26th, we went on the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood “Tour des (Chicken) Coops,” but that will have to be a whole ‘nother post, because we saw so many great coops and so many phenomenal gardens that I couldn’t possibly squeeze it down here at the end of this already-very-long post!

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